Date of Award


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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Nursing




Although advances in neonatal medicine have greatly improved infant survival rates, there remains a significant number of infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit who will not survive. It is estimated that 50% of the 25,000 annual hospital pediatric deaths occur in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (Conway-Oriel & Edlund, 2015). Despite widely supported guidelines endorsing neonatal palliative care (NPC), implementation has been sporadic and inconsistent (Kain & Wilkinson, 2013). Lack of palliative care protocols has been associated with negative impacts on infants, their families, and multidisciplinary team members. NICU nurses are uniquely positioned to influence end-of-life care experiences for infants and their families. Although previous research has explored nurses’ perceptions in specific NICU populations (Kain, 2008, Chen et al., 2013; Forouzi et al., 2017; Wright, Prasun, et al., 2011), the current status of PC in neonatal nursing practice throughout the United States, has not been examined.

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Nursing Commons